I devote plenty of my time on my Mac to bargain hunting. If it’s free and it’s good, it’s likely sitting on my Mac somewhere. But I have my favorites.
I do presentations for a living, some PowerPoint, plenty of Keynote, so color coordination is important to me. Clothes. Makeup. Slide Shows. Needless to say, I have a bunch of Mac graphic applications, and even more utilities to show me the error of my colorful ways.
Alright, the reigning Mac360 Value Vixen™ has a secret. Sometimes I pay for Mac utilities. Often, not. But sometimes. When it comes to color utilities the Mac has more than a good share of free, nearly free, and not so free.
In this case, my absolute favorite Mac utility for managing color is not so free.
Sure, there are free utilities such as iPick, which I use regularly. iPick is more of a bad habit than a must have utility. It doesn’t do much more than select a color, convert it to HTML Hex values, and generate a few matching color theme colors.
iPick’s icon is just so cool that it still warrants a spot in Drag Thing on my Mac.
Nearly free is Dragonfly which works much the same way, but generates matching colors in a rectangular wheel (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but see the image above and you’ll understand). It also does text on backgrounds which is very handy in PowerPoint and Keynote.
Dragonfly lets you save color sets and exchange them with other Dragonfly users. Not bad for free. Or, $1.00, depending on the version you need. Dragonfly comes with a Green License.
If you use Dragonfly then you have to do something nice for the environment. I recycle, buy Macs, and drink wine.
For serious color work, at least, as serious as I can be about color since I’m as color coordinated as a raccoon, I use Color Schemer Studio.
This is color as it was meant to be used on the Mac. There’s a full color wheel which is actually round, not rectangular. Where I have trouble is color harmonies and Color Schemer responds with a Color Harmonies view button.
Don’t you just love point and click?
Honestly, I feel like Monk when it comes to color. I simply can’t decide between this or that, or those or these. The Suggested Colors View is a place to start because it displays multiple schemes.
The Color Scheme Analyzer matches text with background color combinations for improved contrast and readability. There’s a QuickPreview window to test web page color combinations.
Professional Mac users will like the Import Wizard which imports colors from a web site or style sheet, Adobe Swatch Exchange files, Photoshop Color Palettes, and basic Color Table files.
Exporting color schemes is easy, too, with the Export Wizard—export to an HTML color chart, a CSS style sheet, Adobe Swatch Exchange, Apple Color Picker, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel.
My husband bought ColorSchemer Studio for me because it comes with a Color Blindness Simulation, and he knows I prefer free to not so free. Also, he thinks I’m color blind. I’m not. But he won’t let me drive his car, either.